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Donning black bikinis, Muslim Miss Universe contestants say they're at peace with pageant
AP ^ | May 17, 2002

Posted on 05/18/2002 10:08:54 PM PDT by Shermy

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Donning a black bikini, Nasma Mohammed is like many beauty queens — young and ambitious — but unlike most of this year's 76 Miss Universe (news - web sites) contestants, she is also Muslim.

Shrugging off criticism from Muslim groups who say the display of flesh goes against Islam, the candidate from the oil-rich Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago says her faith has helped her get where she is.

"I'm very religious. My faith has given me an inner peace to accomplish many of my goals," says Mohammed, a 23-year-old bank trainee with a bachelor's degree in management and chemistry.

Mohammed is one of four Muslim contestants at the 2002 Miss Universe pageant being held on this U.S. Caribbean territory May 29. The other candidates come from Turkey, Singapore and Egypt — all secular nations.

"No God fearing woman would enter a beauty contest. It is against all the teachings about modesty and good behavior," said Mansoor Ibraham of Astra Anjuman Sunaat Ul Jamaat, a Muslim group in Trinidad.

Mohammed acknowledges the opposition.

"In everything you find opposition. What's in your heart and mind is more important than what is on your body," she said.

Trinidad and Tobago's population of 1.3 million is split almost evenly between descendants of African slaves and indentured servants from India. The East Indian population is divided between Hindus and Muslims and some Afro-Trinidadians have converted to Islam.

The culture, although conservative in nature, is pure Caribbean in its attitude toward dress, illustrated by its raucous Carnival.

Mohammed said she doesn't follow all the orthodox tenets of the faith, but she prays daily and observes Muslim holidays, such as Ramadan.

"Yes, I am in my swimsuit, but I'm in a very controlled environment," she says. "I'm showing women that it's good to stay healthy and fit."

Jodan Hassan, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based Council on American Islamic Relations, said women can find other ways to show their intelligence and ambitions without putting their bodies on display.

"Beauty contests judge women on their bodies," she said. "For Muslims the interaction between men and women is based on modesty."

In 1972, prior to the Soviet invasion, Afghanistan (news - web sites) held its first and only pageant giving Zohra Daoud the title of Miss Afghanistan.

"It was an encouragement for youth achievements. It wasn't a beauty contest then," said Daoud from her Malibu, California home. Daoud fled to the United States after the Soviets invaded in 1979, and in 1996 she founded the Afghan Women's Association of Southern California, which raises funds for humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan.

That 1972 competition held no swimsuit competition and the dresses were very conservative, said Daoud.

"The beauty contest in the West is a commercial thing. I am really against the swimsuit competition," she said.

Miss Egypt, Sally Shaheen, says her desire to be a reigning beauty queen is also within the parameters of her faith.

"Religion is not something to tell you what to do or what not to do," said 24-year-old Shaheen, who studied communications and hopes one day to own her own television station. "I don't harm anyone here."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: bikini; missuniverse; muslim; turkey

Miss Turkey


Miss Trinidad


Miss Singapore


Miss Egypt

___________________________________

Nice, but all for naught. Miss India's going to win:

Miss Universe Pageant's Ugly Truth

And would someone tell CAIR to SHUT UP!

1 posted on 05/18/2002 10:08:54 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: swarthyguy; a_Turk; Hillary's Lovely Legs; Cacique; Washington-Husky
Good night all. Signing off.
2 posted on 05/18/2002 10:11:12 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: Shermy
In fact, most of Trinidads East Indian population is now Christian, with the rest being Hindu or Muslim.
3 posted on 05/18/2002 10:11:18 PM PDT by sheik yerbouty
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To: Shermy
Sweet Dreams! No bikini pictures? Will Miss Lebanon pose in a bikini?
4 posted on 05/18/2002 10:14:46 PM PDT by swarthyguy
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To: Shermy
Black bikinis on brown skin? Wouldn't hot pink go better? I'm a guy so I don't really know here.
5 posted on 05/18/2002 10:16:17 PM PDT by jwh_Denver
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To: swarthyguy
Not yet left. For bikini pics, go to www.hindustantimes.com and click the "Miss Universe 2002" link on the right hand side. Some hotties, none of these ones.
6 posted on 05/18/2002 10:16:39 PM PDT by Shermy
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: Shermy

Miss Palestine

8 posted on 05/18/2002 10:17:27 PM PDT by Redcloak
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To: jwh_Denver

Miss India and Miss America the two closest in front.

9 posted on 05/18/2002 10:19:11 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: Redcloak
ROFL!

I really gotta go asleep. See y'all!

10 posted on 05/18/2002 10:21:38 PM PDT by Shermy
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: Shermy
I don't have to blow myself up? just a ticket to PuertoRico?
12 posted on 05/18/2002 10:22:56 PM PDT by swarthyguy
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To: Shermy
MissPhillipino is sweet too. Aah, Pluralism!
13 posted on 05/18/2002 10:23:47 PM PDT by swarthyguy
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To: Shermy
"Yes, I am in my swimsuit, but I'm in a very controlled environment," she says. "I'm showing women that it's good to stay healthy and fit."

Yes, it is very good to stay healthy and fit. Show us again.

14 posted on 05/18/2002 10:38:46 PM PDT by Jorge
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To: Shermy
I was right. Black is ok but some other color would be better. Maybe yellow. Some babes there though, at least 1 layer of skin deep anyway. I wouldn't want to hear anything they have to say about Islam.

Thanks for the pix!

15 posted on 05/18/2002 10:48:22 PM PDT by jwh_Denver
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To: Shermy
Miss Turkey
16 posted on 05/18/2002 11:03:08 PM PDT by Soul Citizen
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To: Jorge
""Yes, I am in my swimsuit, but I'm in a very controlled environment," ...and besides, this is really just a short burqua.
17 posted on 05/18/2002 11:16:53 PM PDT by holyscroller
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To: Shermy
What I wouldn't give for a large....er...
18 posted on 05/18/2002 11:27:00 PM PDT by zarf
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To: Soul Citizen

Miss Saudi Arabia

19 posted on 05/18/2002 11:37:08 PM PDT by RodgerD
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To: Shermy
And this immodesty is not only against Islam, it is against Christianity and Judaism as well

"Religion is not something to tell you what to do or what not to do,"

Then what the < expletive deleted > is it?

OK, I won't be a Puritan about this, but who's kidding who?

20 posted on 05/19/2002 1:00:16 AM PDT by Salman
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: Shermy
Sorry, Miss America is one ugly cuss.
22 posted on 05/19/2002 5:00:14 AM PDT by Maelstrom
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To: Shermy
Whew, I am glad I didn't leave.
23 posted on 05/21/2002 2:46:41 PM PDT by knighthawk
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To: Shermy
I thought for sure this was going to be a post from The Onion.
24 posted on 05/21/2002 2:53:40 PM PDT by Trailerpark Badass
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To: swarthyguy
Oh baby oh baby oh baby. Miss Philipino - HOT CHA CHA CHA! My life is now complete.
25 posted on 05/23/2002 12:54:48 PM PDT by Enterprise
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To: Trailerpark Badass
Here's a better picture of Miss Turkey. She is actually a mechanical engineer by the way.


26 posted on 05/29/2002 4:11:29 PM PDT by Turk2
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To: Shermy
Oh yea...hurt me mamas!!
27 posted on 05/29/2002 4:12:52 PM PDT by codebreaker
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To: Turk2
I think the picture is from FHM or Esquire Magazine by the way. I hope I haven't violated any copyright laws.
28 posted on 05/29/2002 4:13:53 PM PDT by Turk2
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To: Enterprise
Phillipines, Argentina, Venezuela, Sweden and Korea always have some of the most beautiful contestants.
29 posted on 05/29/2002 4:14:49 PM PDT by codebreaker
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To: Turk2
Um... ah, yeah!

Wow!

30 posted on 05/29/2002 4:20:09 PM PDT by Arioch7
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To: Shermy
Well, there's always the burqa competition...I'm thinking, though, that someone burbling "I'm in favor of kittens, fuzzy puppies, world peace, and killing the Jews" is probably not going to collect Miss Congeniality...
31 posted on 05/29/2002 4:20:42 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Turk2
She is actually a mechanical engineer by the way.

I'm proud of the men here - I would have thought by now there would have been posted 5 lame jokes about her being involved in creating erect structures.

32 posted on 05/29/2002 4:21:35 PM PDT by Senator Pardek
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To: Senator Pardek
We were all waiting for you :-)
33 posted on 05/29/2002 4:25:25 PM PDT by rightisright
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To: Shermy
Does this mean these lovely ladies are now subject to stoning in places like Saudi Arabia?
34 posted on 05/29/2002 4:29:46 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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